Planners Approve Changes for Impervious Coverage

SANATOGA PA – Adding proposed definitions of “impervious coverage” to Lower Pottsgrove laws regarding residential zoning and storm water management, a change unanimously recommended Tuesday (Feb. 16, 2021) by its Planning Commission, will help township property owners more easily add pools and patios to their yards and reduce the workload of its Zoning Hearing Board, Manager Ed Wagner said.

Impervious coverage on a property includes pretty much anything that takes up square footage but does not allow water to seep into the ground. That includes sidewalks, driveways, and buildings at ground level including homes, garages, and maintenance sheds. Under current coverage limits affecting all four township residential districts, many property owners must pay for zoning hearings to get permission or exceptions enabling them to add amenities.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Wagner noted Tuesday night during the commission’s meeting, the number of hearings held monthly by the zoning board ballooned as stay-at-home families installed safe activity choices like swimming pools to cool off during the summer, and patios for enjoying backyard meals and activities. “No one went anywhere,” Wagner observed.

How the pandemic plays out likely will determine if that’s the case much longer. Even so, members of the township Board of Commissioners urged Wagner and Solicitor Charles Garner Jr. to find a way to ease the restrictions and measure impervious coverage in a more lenient way. The changes apply only to parcels in residential zones, and not commercial or business properties.

Commissioners asked a limited number of questions about specific types of ground cover and about business affects, apparently liked what they heard, and voted to approve the changes. They will be the subject of an April public hearing before township commissioners, who then would be set to authorize them.

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